This real-life superhero carries out 37,000 cleft palate surgeries for free as part of the Smile Train Project


The cleft palate or Lip palate is something like openings or splits in the roof of the lip. 

It is a common birth condition that occurs mainly as part of a genetic syndrome. This causes difficulty in speaking, eating, etc.

In India 1 in 1000 babies are born with or without cleft palate

Cleft lip
Cleft lip


But Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh sees this as a divine cause and performs free surgery for individuals with this condition. 

Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh is a speaker and global trainer under the Smile Train Project. 


He has a hospital in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India where surgeons across the world come to perform the surgery and treat patients with Cleft Lip-Palate. 


Till now, Dr. Subodh Singh performed 37,000 Cleft Palate surgeries free of cost for poor families and brought back the smiles of 25,000 families. Dr. Singh is now globally recognized for his kind service to the poor. Yes, great evidence for the existence of humanity for the ones who doubt it. 

Plastic surgeon Dr Subodh Kumar Singh with his successful patient.
Plastic surgeon Dr Subodh Kumar Singh with his successful patient.


“In every cleft child who has come to me, I have visualized that little Subodh, who lost his father when he was only 13. My father Gyan Singh and mother Giriraj Kumari (she died last year) taught me to serve the poor and live ethically. I feel God made me a plastic surgeon and not a businessman to serve a divine cause,” said Dr. Singh.


He started performing cleft surgeries in 2003 and slowly became part of The Smile Train Project. 

He said, “We set a target of 2,500 cleft surgeries by December 2005. The Smile Train India team, while considering our target too ambitious, asked us to go for just 500 free surgeries by 2005-end. We crossed that figure by 2004-end and went beyond 2,500 by the following year-end. Since 2008-09, we annually perform 4,000-plus free cleft surgeries under this initiative.”

Cleft lips before and after
Child with Cleft lips after a successful surgery

He prepared an outreach program with his team of surgeons, co-workers, and nutritional experts to track kids with cleft lips across Eastern and Northeastern India.


“We have not only corrected congenital deformity but also reunited families where the husbands abandoned the wives for delivering a cleft baby. Our team has saved hundreds of severely malnourished cleft kids through the focused nutritional support training programs,” he added. 


Not only that, but also he performed a broad range of free burn surgeries and saved the lives of several patients from serious burns. He also trained in aesthetic surgery and head-neck reconstruction. 

Yes, a real-life superhero, a hero without a cape but sure with a stethoscope.


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